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May 11, 2001

Bayliss Blitzes First World Superbike Qualifying Session At Monza, Bostrom Second-fastest

By Glenn LeSanto<BR>Ducati filled three of the top four places in the first World Superbike qualifying session in Monza Friday, May 11. Troy Bayliss put his dismal showing in Sugo behind him and stood head-and-shoulders above the pack with a fastest time of 1:48.677. In the heat of the Italian sunshine American Ben Bostrom put his L&M Ducati into the second slot behind the Infostrada Ducati of Bayliss, with a time of 1:49.421. Troy Corser made it into provisional third on the pole on his Axo Aprilia, although he was almost one second slower than Bayliss.<BR><BR>British Superbike champion Neil Hodgson leapt up the time sheet with a fast last lap as the session closed, jumping into fourth spot just as qualifying ended. Colin Edwards was fifth-fastest on his Castrol Honda after crashing during the session. The reigning Superbike World Champion was unhurt in the fall.<BR><BR>Edwards bounced back from a crash at the Ascari chicane halfway through the session and remained in a confident mood for the rest of the weekend at the historic Italian venue.<BR><BR>Edwards was at the top of the leaderboard when he crashed, and said afterwards "I just lost the front going into the Ascari. We were trying a soft-compound front tire and I lost grip. I walked away without injury but I was half-a-second up on the first split on that lap so it would have been a good lap time."<BR><BR>Edwards added, "We had two different gearbox ratios in the machines and the machine I crashed had the better one so I knew I wasn't going to improve on may lap time. I'm not a fan of that first chicane now they've made the changes. I can't get on the throttle early enough on the exit, the rear end of the machine is coming around all the time."<BR><BR> <BR><BR>Superbike World Championship<BR>Monza, Italy<BR>May 11, Friday Qualifying<BR>Session times <BR><BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Australia, Ducati, 1:48.677<BR>2. Ben Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 1:49.421<BR>3. Troy Corser, Australia, Aprilia, 1:49.622<BR>4. Neil Hodgson, Great Britain, Ducati, 1:49.748<BR>5. Colin Edwards, USA, Honda, 1:49.890<BR>6. Antonello, Italy, Aprilia, 1:49.913<BR>7. Pier Francesco Chili, Italy, Suzuki, 1:50.522<BR>8. Pedercini, Italy, Ducati, 1:50.253<BR>9. Akira Yanagawa, Japan, Kawasaki, 1:50.366 <BR>10. Borciani, Italy, Ducati, 1:50.403